Council approved a $1,000 increase in budget for phases 1 and 2 of the Regional Broadband Project at the regular meeting on Aug. 8.
In June, council approved to move forward with the project at a cost not to exceed $3,000. Since that time, Daysland, Killam, Sedgewick and Hardisty have decided not to approve the project for their towns.
As a result, the cost of moving forward with the project with only Flagstaff County and the villages of Heisler, Alliance and Lougheed has increased Forestburg’s share to $3,654.91.
“If we don’t have broadband we can’t grow,” said Forestburg Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Debra Moffat, “This project is just the first step, a feasibility study, to see the engineering end of it.”
The lack of reliable high-speed internet is an issue in rural Alberta and is being addressed to encourage more economic development within the region.
Living spaces on residential land
An amendment will be made to the local land use bylaw that will allow additional living spaces such as garden suites and/or garage suites to be built on residential parcels.
The bylaw currently states that secondary suites, meaning a self-contained dwelling unit located within the primary dwelling unit registered on the same land title, are not allowed.
There is currently a lack of rental properties available in Forestburg and an amendment to the bylaw could result in additional rental properties becoming available.
Minimum lot size and the need to have required building permits will be considered in the amendment which will be brought to council for review at a future date.
Greenhouse feasibility study Village council approved a motion to approach the Battle River Economic Opportunities Committee (BREOC) to work with the Greenhouse Committee to provide funds for a feasibility study on creating a greenhouse in Forestburg.
After a feasibility study has been conducted, a business plan would be created that would be reviewed by the Greenhouse Committee, Economic Development Committee and village council to help choose the best choices moving forward.
It is estimated to take a couple of years before a solid plan would be ready to act on.